Big Timber Rancher Competes in National Discussion Meet Contest



ORLANDO, FLA – Jennie Anderson, the winner of the Montana Farm Bureau Discussion Meet, talked about Right to Farm legislation and ag technology during two rounds of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet.  Anderson was the winner of the Montana Farm Bureau YF&R Discussion Meet in November. The Discussion Meet, which is open to Farm Bureau members ages 18-35, is meant to simulate a committee meeting with issues facing agriculture discussed and solutions developed.

“Less than two percent of the public is involved in production agriculture, so we need to work with consumers and legislators to explain to them why agriculture is worth supporting,” Anderson said in her opening statement. “We can create public awareness through outreach efforts such as farm fairs and social media as well as having training for people in agriculture to get involved in careers such as journalism.”

Anderson said the competition provided an excellent experience in both research and public speaking. “Studying for the Discussion Meet provided me with a wealth of information. I know so much more now about the challenges facing farmers and ranchers than I did before the Discussion Meet. I also feel empowered.  This has been a great way to improve public speaking and interact with other people involved in agriculture.”

Anderson, who is on the state YF&R Committee and serves as chair for Sweet Grass County Farm Bureau YF&R Committe, said the networking was invaluable.”It was good to meet other young farmers and ranchers and learn about the different ways they raise crops and livestock,” said Anderson. “We had interesting and educational discussions.”

Her only regret? The rule that state Discussion Meet winners can’t compete again. “I wish I could do it again. It was a wonderful experience,” she concluded, encouraging other young farmers and ranchers to participate in the competition.

The AFBF Annual Convention runs through Jan. 13 in Orlando.

Source:  Montana Farm Bureau Federation

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